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Yes, "The Enchanted Cottage" is a very special kind of film - it tells us - finally - that "beauty" does exist in the eye of the beholder - and that "beauty" can be very real to the beholder.

 

But, first and foremost, it needs the kind of devotion and love that can inspire that kind of "beauty".

 

The film is far from a fairy-tale.

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"Wuthering Heights" with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon - the heartache in this film between Cathy and Heathcliff is so strong that the ending in which Heathcliff walks off with Cathy's ghost seems not only otherworldly, but "natural".

 

It is such a dark and twisted tale, too, and the introduction of David Niven and Geraldine Fitzgerald can only add to the unavoidable tragedy.

 

A film in which the lovers are doomed isn't a rarity on the screen.

 

But one in which the misery is so persuasive and so overwhelming like this one is rare.

 

Years later, there was a very good re-make, too, that starred Timothy Dalton.

 

And it could be much more honest about the cause of Cathy's death - she had been carrying Heathcliff's baby.

 

Anyway, as for the original, all of the four principals were memorable in establishing the miseries of love.

 

YOUNG LOVE, FIRST LOVE, FILLED WITH SUCH EMOTION -

 

Laurence_Olivier_Merle_Oberon_Wuthering_

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1in.png

 
Airing again on November 18th.

 

1952 - such an out-and-out soap-opera, but Dorothy McQuire's unique performance elevates the material into a kind of high drama - and, let's face it, the ever-present MGM gloss, which I have always loved, does not hurt one bit.

 

LOVE, RE-DEFINED & RE-IMAGINED -

 

inviatation.jpg?w=640

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1952 - such an out-and-out soap-opera, but Dorothy McQuire's unique performance elevates the material into a kind of high drama - and, let's face it, the ever-present MGM gloss, which I have always loved, does not hurt one bit.

 

LOVE, RE-DEFINED & RE-IMAGINED -

 

inviatation.jpg?w=640

This one would've made a terrific Broadway play in the 50's.

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1952 - such an out-and-out soap-opera, but Dorothy McQuire's unique performance elevates the material into a kind of high drama - and, let's face it, the ever-present MGM gloss, which I have always loved, does not hurt one bit.

 

LOVE, RE-DEFINED & RE-IMAGINED -

 

inviatation.jpg?w=640

 

Great photo. And I totally agree-- McGuire gives the material more respect than it probably deserves. Everyone else is doing a standard MGM melodrama, but she's playing it like a Greek tragedy.

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"To Each His Own" - what can I say? - such exquisite "torture" - as an out-and-out soap opera, this one has no equal - I surrended to it completely - in the end, I saw it through tears - yes, indeed, it is quite overpowering.

 

John Lund has the role of a lifetime - as Olivia deHaviland's lover (killed in World War II) and then as her son.

 

Has any other actor managed such a unique feat?

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"To Each His Own" - what can I say? - such exquisite "torture" - as an out-and-out soap opera, this one has no equal - I surrended to it completely - in the end, I saw it through tears - yes, indeed, it is quite overpowering.

 

John Lund has the role of a lifetime - as Olivia deHaviland's lover (killed in World War II) and then as her son.

 

Has any other actor managed such a unique feat?

 

In the 1936 melodrama COME AND GET IT, Frances Farmer plays Edward Arnold's wife. She is killed off after 30 minutes. Then in the next part, she plays his grown daughter, who of course resembles the dead mother. Both characters are named Lotta.

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"To Each His Own" - what can I say? - such exquisite "torture" - as an out-and-out soap opera, this one has no equal - I surrended to it completely - in the end, I saw it through tears - yes, indeed, it is quite overpowering.

 

John Lund has the role of a lifetime - as Olivia deHaviland's lover (killed in World War II) and then as her son.

 

Has any other actor managed such a unique feat?

 

The wife and I were watching To Each His Own and around halfway in she says 'this film has one tragedy after another,  this is torture'.     When the grown up son came into the story she said 'if they kill him off,   I don't want to see it'.     While not giving away the ending I assured her the story ended on the happy side.   She used over half a box of tissues!  

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In the 1936 melodrama COME AND GET IT, Frances Farmer plays Edward Arnold's wife. She is killed off after 30 minutes. Then in the next part, she plays his grown daughter, who of course resembles the dead mother. Both characters are named Lotta.

Jarrod -

 

as I have said on more than one occasion -

 

YOU ARE THE MAN!

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The wife and I were watching To Each His Own and around halfway in she says 'this film has one tragedy after another,  this is torture'.     When the grown up son came into the story she said 'if they kill him off,   I don't want to see it'.     While not giving away the ending I assured her the story ended on the happy side.   She used over half a box of tissues!  

At the very least, half a box of tissues!!

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I think that movies that are essentially soap-operas but have the ingredient of "madness" added to the mix are always more memorable than movies that simply insist on suffering - and I include in this first category - "To Each His Own", "Magnificent Obsession", "Written On The Wind" and "Madame X".

 

If they manage to remain standing at the end, you, the audience, are truly surprised.

 

Thrillers sometimes have this unique blend of soap suds and madness - thrillers like "Vertigo" and "Obsession".

 

More conventional soap-operas like "All That Heaven Allows" are still  enjoyable, anyway.

 

Madness isn't essential, but it helps.

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More conventional soap-operas like "All That Heaven Allows" are still  enjoyable, anyway.

 

 

All (and I do mean all) of my feminist professors in film school gave lectures on ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS. It is considered the quintessential 50s melodrama-- showing the confinement of the female subject by an unyielding and unforgiving patriarchal society. It's my favorite in this period/genre. Jane Wyman really captures the struggle that woman is facing as she deals with an empty nest. She falls in love with someone outside her class and must still keep up appearances and avoid scandal at all costs. It's a brilliant examination of the bourgeoisie.

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All (and I do mean all) of my feminist professors in film school gave lectures on ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS. It is considered the quintessential 50s melodrama-- showing the confinement of the female subject by an unyielding and unforgiving patriarchal society. It's my favorite in this period/genre. Jane Wyman really captures the struggle that woman is facing as she deals with an empty nest. She falls in love with someone outside her class and must still keep up appearances and avoid scandal at all costs. It's a brilliant examination of the bourgeoisie.

I could not agree more - and we must thank Douglas Sirk.

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